Change is inevitable part of life. In Sanskrit world is called ‘Jagat’ which means the one that moves, changes. There is change all around us and within us, which is the only constant! And yet we, most of the times, are afraid of the change. We keep resisting it. When ultimately we have to accept it, it is very painful, and can be traumatic. But look at people who have handled change successfully, which can be inspiring. I have a friend living in Australia, whose mother had been ill for some time, in India. She did not have any close relatives nearby to look after her. My friend’s wife went there to look after her, and stayed with her. She did it of her own, without any pressure from anyone. She lived there for five years, till the old woman passed away. And during those years my friend also had to manage life here by himself. How did they manage then? The key was their acceptance of the situation, thinking of greater good of others. When we are driven by humanitarian thoughts, by the compassion for others, our own hardship pales.
Not only our environment and everything around us has been changing at a tremendous pace, but also we are aware of that change almost instantly. The innumerable media channels that we continuously interact with make sure we don’t miss out any piece of happening in the world, even in the universe. This is both a boon and a curse. While we can benefit from the change and developments materially, physically, the bad news also travels fast. And with so much selfishness and cruelty that is rampant in the society, it is bound to affect us. After all we are sensitive human beings, most of us that is.
But changing environment is not a new thing. It always has been. But we had strong role models; there were many selfless and non-corrupt leaders around us. They had been source of inspiration for us. People like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi showed us how to fight injustice and tyranny. Many of us have come from large families, which provided a support network. That made the change easy to assimilate. In the absence of all that, young generation is rudderless and need to find new sources of inspirations. And there is no dearth of them. There are self made entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobbs, philanthropists and highly successful technologists such as Bill gates, the new age spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and so on. The key is to keep you continuously motivated, inspired and moving upwards, both materially and spiritually.
There are huge developments and innovations in technology, and for that matter all facets of science. Those who have adapted to this change have forged ahead in their career. In my own career I have changed it at least four to five times and though it was a big challenge and never easy, it was refreshing and rewarding. I enjoyed every bit of it. Organizations undergo massive changes, their structure changes, products change, and line of business changes. If you were to take a break and leave this planet for a few years, and come back, you will never recognize the place around you.
By nature human being is complacent, happy with status quo. And this is so ingrained that even when he realizes how perilous environment he is in, how depressing his surrounding is, he still does not even make an attempt to get out of it! How can we forget that smart, intelligent and cultured man of today has evolved from a very primitive human being over millions of years, simply by complying with Darwin’s law: Survival of the fittest! And this is literally true even today. Our progress and success directly depends upon how much time and efforts we invest in our body, mind and intellect. Those who have not followed this universal principle have fallen by wayside. Do you know all the cells in our body are completely regenerated every seven years, so whether we like or not, we are constantly changing. And it is in our hands to make that change work for us, ride on that wave of change and progress.
In my Leadership Program, I ask the participants how many of them spend a portion of their day/week/month in learning new skills or improving knowledge of their chosen field of work and most of the time answer is disappointingly low/zero/none. And what about spending time in learning new hobbies or games, or anything new? Again the response there is not very encouraging. And this is simply because we are so busy in making living (whatever that means!) that life has become a mundane routine. So we need to bring freshness in our life, new thinking, new ideas, because that is how we will elevate ourselves both materially and spiritually.
There is a principle of Entropy in Thermodynamics, which is a measure of change in the system, such as pressure, temperature etc. And universe depends upon Entropy for it’s functioning. Because Entropy is disorder and the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity. And when we understand that everything that perishes gives rise to new, we are no more afraid of the change. And then we understand that the substratum of this whole life, nature, and universe is a never changing Divine Principle. That dwells in us, and in everything, living and inert. By constantly being aware of that Divine, we get encouragement, hopes, and confidence.
We see many people beaming with confidence in everything they do. That confidence is a mark of trust in Divine. They may not recognize it explicitly, but its presence cannot be missed. Today young generation gets increasingly frustrated when they encounter failures or setbacks. The key reason is that they do not have any strong anchor points. Nothing to rally around! They see all the places of religious worships riddled with ritualism and they cannot relate to such a God. No wonder they are afraid of the change, and the uncertainties it brings. Justice Dharmadhikari once said, ‘Fear is a dark room where only negatives are developed’. How true!
So let us build a strong character, trust in the Divine and embark on our chosen path, in the field of our choice, where our passion lies. The success is bound to follow. Patanjali, the great sage, the founder of Yoga has said thousands of years ago:
Photo: Angkor Vat